As parts of the South begin their cleanup from Ida, the storm continues to track inland and will continue to bring considerable heavy rain and flooding threats from the Tennessee and Ohio valleys into the central and southern Appalachians and mid-Atlantic through Wednesday.
- Individuals who experienced damage and power loss should use extreme caution during the recovery phase. Areas inland will continue to experience dangerous weather conditions. Please be safe and listen to local emergency management officials. Anyone in the forecast path should rush to complete final preparations.
- FEMA’s priorities are to support life-saving and life-sustaining actions. The agency continues working with federal, state, local, tribal and non-governmental partners to support the needs of areas affected by Ida. The agency positioned staff and supplies such as meals, water, and generators to assist states with impacts from this storm.
- Visit Hurricane Ida | FEMA.gov for information and resources available for residents in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and other areas that may be affected by Ida. The page is available in French, Haitian Creole, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Federal actions to support areas affected by Hurricane Ida
- More than 1,300 FEMA employees are deployed to support Ida response and recovery efforts. There are seven FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams deployed to support states affected by Hurricane Ida. Five are in Louisiana, and two in Mississippi.
- Commodities, equipment, and personnel are pre-positioned to assist, as needed. This includes:
- Twelve Urban Search and Rescue teams are operational in Louisiana.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Power Restoration teams, debris management and roofing experts have mobilized to conduct assessments in Louisiana.
- Debris subject matter experts are in Louisiana and Mississippi.
- Additional ambulance crews are also deployed to Louisiana and Mississippi. This includes more than 150 ambulances/500 paratransit seats and emergency medical service providers in Gonzales, Louisiana and 35 air ambulances in both states.
- FEMA has staged more than 4.4 million meals, 3.2 million liters of water, more than 124,000 tarps and 190 generators. Fifty-eight additional generators are staged at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
- Mobile Emergency Response Support assets, including Emergency Operations Vehicles, are deployed to support Louisiana and Mississippi.
- FEMA assigned additional personnel from the federal government, including the Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide support as needed.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deployed a 250-bed federal medical shelter to Alexandria, Louisiana. The shelter is scheduled to be operational by Sept. 3.
- The HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration activated its Disaster Distress helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone or text at 1-800-985-5990 for disaster survivors in Louisiana experiencing emotional distress.
- Spanish-speakers can call or text the hotline and press “2” for bilingual support. Callers can also connect with counselors in over 100 other languages via 3rd-party interpretation services by indicating their preferred language to the responding counselor, who will connect to a live interpreter.
- Deaf or hard of hearing American Sign Language users can contact the DDH through a direct videophone option via any videophone-enabled device and dialing 1-800-985-5990, or by selecting the “ASL Now” option on the DDH website at samhsa.gov.
- The U.S. Coast Guard has 27 rotary or fixed wing assets, and the Department of Defense has 60 high water vehicles and 14 rotary wing assets prepositioned to assist with search and rescue.
- The Salvation Army mobilized feeding kitchens and emergency response vehicles in Gonzales, Louisiana and Gulfport, Mississippi. These operations can feed up to 30,000 people a day.
- Forty-eight shelters are open in affected areas throughout the Gulf Coast.
Stay safe from post-storm hazards
- Put your health and safety first. Be careful in areas with storm damage or flooding. If you evacuated, return only when officials say it is safe to do so. Areas without power may experience heat advisories, which can lead to illness or a threat to life.
- Use a generator safely. Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
- Keep generators outside and far away from your home. Windows, doors and vents could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Read both the label on your generator and the owner’s manual and follow the instructions.
- Be aware of heat-related illnesses. Areas without power may experience heat advisories, which can lead to illness or a threat to life. Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages such as water or juice. Keep your pets hydrated by providing plenty of fresh water for your pets and provide a shady area.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors. Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- If you are in the path of Ida as it moves inland, gather supplies. Have enough supplies for your household. Include medication, disinfectant supplies, face masks, pet supplies and a battery-operated radio with extra batteries. After a hurricane, you may not have access to these supplies for days or weeks.
- If your home has flood water inside or around it, don’t walk or wade in it. The water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Never attempt to turn off power or operate circuit breakers while standing in water.
- Be careful when cleaning up. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves and sturdy thick-soled shoes. Do not try to remove heavy debris by yourself. Use an appropriate mask if cleaning mold or other debris. People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression disorders should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.
- Avoid downed power or utility lines. they may be live with deadly voltage. Stay far away and report them immediately to your power company.
- Stay put. Stay off the roads. Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way. If you evacuated, do not return home until local officials say it is safe.
- Don’t drive through flood waters. Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas at bridges and at highway dips. As little as 6 inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Check on friends and family. If you are able, please check on your neighbors, friends, and family because some may need more help than others.
- Stay out of floodwater. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines or contain hazards such as human and animal waste, dangerous debris, contaminates that can lead to illness, or wild or stray animals.
Stay safe during power outages
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. A grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices should never be used inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. These should only be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows.
- Use only flashlights or battery-powered lanterns for emergency lighting. NEVER use candles during a blackout or power outage due to extreme risk of fire.
- Power Outages can impact the safety of food in your refrigerator and freezer.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary.
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to a temperature of 40°Fahrenheit (4° Celsius) or higher for two hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Never taste food or solely rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, heat-resistant bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses can start growing quickly.
- President Biden’s Aug. 29 approval of a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Louisiana is in addition to the Aug. 27 emergency declaration.
- If you were impacted by Ida and have insurance, contact your insurance company and FEMA. You will need to provide your insurance claim information to FEMA to determine eligibility for federal assistance.
- FEMA cannot provide assistance for losses that are covered by insurance.
- If you are in one of the parishes approved for Individual Assistance and do not have insurance, you can apply for disaster assistance and get referrals to local, state and federal agencies and voluntary organizations. The fastest way to apply is through DisasterAssistance.gov. You can also apply by calling 1-800-621-3362 or through the FEMA mobile app.
- If you use a relay service, such as your videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, please provide your specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you, and you should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.
- President Biden approved Mississippi’s emergency declaration on Aug. 28. The declaration was amended to include all 84 counties and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Additional damage assessments are ongoing.
If you have any questions, please contact FEMA Office of External Affairs:
- Congressional Affairs at (202) 646-4500 or at FEMA-Congressional-Affairs@fema.dhs.gov
- Intergovernmental Affairs at (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov
- Tribal Affairs at (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-Tribal@fema.dhs.gov
- Private Sector Engagement at (202) 646-3444 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, follow Administrator Deanne Criswell on Twitter @FEMA_Deanne.